Media Psychology

Faculty and students in Media Psychology study the mental processes involved in how people perceive, interpret, use and respond to a broad spectrum of media from books to social networking. The mental processes investigated range from deliberate and thoughtful decision making to reflexive responses and a variety of processes in between. An understanding of mental processing is important to every aspect of communication and communication professions from advertising to entertainment and computer games to computer collaboration systems. Specific projects focused on media psychology in our department include children's responses to health messages, emotional contagion in instant messaging, entertainment narratives in health communication, and decision-making in computer-mediated work teams.